Aave Token

1 Executive Summary

This report presents the results of our engagement with Aave to review Aave Token.

The review was conducted over 3 days, from July 6 to July 8 2020, by Daniel Luca and John Mardlin as part of an ongoing engagement between Aave and ConsenSys Diligence. A total of 4 person-days were spent.

During the first day, we became familiar with the source code, as well as ran tests and coverage without issues. We also reviewed EIP-2612 and EIP-1967, which describe a significant part of the token’s functionality.

During the second day, we continued to manually review the code and tried to find inconsistencies between the EIP-2612 standard and the implementation. We found a discrepancy in implementation of EIP-2612, and checked with the EIP-2612 creator to ensure the specs are correct.

During the third day, we finalized the manual review, scanned the contracts with our common tools suite, and created a few constraints that were validated with the Mythx platform and we then put the report together.

On July 22nd we reviewed changes made to the system and updated this report accordingly.

2 Scope

Our review focused on the commit hash 86d4ef225a8e702b5ec8315eda3add186ff31f33. The list of files in scope can be found in the Appendix.

Following our initial review, the system was modified and reviewed again at commit hash b5d7e540d0ce16c7f8ec6e7d0d59f09d5f32f056.

2.1 Objectives

Together with the Aave team, we identified the following priorities for our review:

  1. Ensure that the system is implemented consistently with the intended functionality, and without unintended edge cases.
  2. Identify known vulnerabilities particular to smart contract systems, as outlined in our Smart Contract Best Practices, and the Smart Contract Weakness Classification Registry.
  3. Identify any replay attacks or inconsistencies in the EIP-2612 implementation.
  4. Check the upgradeability pattern.

3 Document Change Log

Version Date Description
1.0 2020-07-08 Initial report
1.1 2020-07-23 Updated report with changes to code

4 Recommendations

The issues are presented in approximate order of priority from highest to lowest.

4.1 Pin the Solidity version to the latest stable 0.6.x Closed


This has been addressed in the latest reviewed version of the code.


Some of the contract files are not very specific about the Solidity version, which can cause a bit of a problem in the compilation step for some tools.

VersionedInitializable is only compilable with Solidity 0.6.x versions.


pragma solidity >=0.4.24 <0.7.0;

This is because of the abstract keyword which is not compatible with lower versions of Solidity.

The new keyword abstract can be used to mark contracts as abstract. It has to be used if a contract does not implement all its functions. Abstract contracts cannot be created using the new operator, and it is not possible to generate bytecode for them during compilation.


Specify a fixed Solidity version for at least this contract.

4.2 Permit expiration can be set indefinite by using MAX_UINT Closed


Addressed per the recommendation.


In the permit() function, a deadline of 0 is treated as non-expiring.


require(expiration == 0 || block.timestamp <= expiration, "INVALID_EXPIRATION");


This extra check is unnecessary, the same can be achieved by setting the deadline to MAX_UINT. This would also be more consistent with the Uniswap-V2 implementation referenced in EIP-2612.

5 Issues

The issues are presented in approximate order of priority from highest to lowest.

5.1 Remove nonce argument from permit functions Closed


This has been addressed in latest reviewed version of the code.


The EIP-2612 specifies a way for a token owner to approve tokens for a spender without any gas costs for themselves. This is also a good way to allow a 3rd party to enable approve before a transferFrom, in the same transaction.

The standard specifies a new permit function that looks like this:

function permit(
    address owner,
    address spender, 
    uint256 value,
    uint256 deadline, 
    uint8 v,
    bytes32 r, 
    bytes32 s

The function in the standard does not have a nonce argument and as clarified by the standard creator, the nonce does not need to be specified, as it can be used from the contract storage.

However, the current permit implementation does contain that nonce


function permit(
    address owner,
    address spender,
    uint256 nonce,
    uint256 expiration,
    uint256 amount,
    uint8 v,
    bytes32 r,
    bytes32 s
) external {

In order to match the EIP-2612 standard, the permit function needs to be changed in the following manner:

  • remove the nonce argument in the function definition
  • remove the require which checks if the provided nonce matches the nonce in the contract storage
  • to generate the digest, use the nonce currently available in the contract storage
  • if the signature is valid, increment the nonce in the contract storage.


Remove the nonce argument and make the necessary changes in the code and the matching tests to match the EIP-2612 spec.

Appendix 1 - Files in Scope

This audit covered the following files )

File git hash-object
contracts/token/AaveToken.sol 4c5dc5478a50da52d5b530f8876368560ba8511c
contracts/token/LendToAaveMigrator.sol e316261f318659c6af36bed651ae52bb026f0c49
contracts/utils/VersionedInitializable.sol e5a8b87b8f89b6c5f28b25be9f7499d14b5b6ff3

Appendix 2 - Artifacts

This section contains some of the artifacts generated during our review by automated tools, the test suite, etc. If any issues or recommendations were identified by the output presented here, they have been addressed in the appropriate section above.

A.2.1 MythX

MythX is a security analysis API for Ethereum smart contracts. It performs multiple types of analysis, including fuzzing and symbolic execution, to detect many common vulnerability types. The tool was used for automated vulnerability discovery for all audited contracts and libraries. More details on MythX can be found at mythx.io.

Below is the raw output of the MythX vulnerability scan for each contract:



It is an abstract contract; the implementation is used by AaveToken.

A.2.2 Surya

Surya is a utility tool for smart contract systems. It provides a number of visual outputs and information about the structure of smart contracts. It also supports querying the function call graph in multiple ways to aid in the manual inspection and control flow analysis of contracts.

Below is a complete list of functions with their visibility and modifiers:


AaveToken Inheritance Graph

A.2.3 Tests Suite

The tests are comprehensive and cover all of the execution branches.

Below is the output generated by running the test suite:

Even though it seems like there isn’t 100% coverage, the unexplored branch in the tests is actually not reachable in that specific case.

Appendix 3 - Disclosure

ConsenSys Diligence (“CD”) typically receives compensation from one or more clients (the “Clients”) for performing the analysis contained in these reports (the “Reports”). The Reports may be distributed through other means, including via ConsenSys publications and other distributions.

The Reports are not an endorsement or indictment of any particular project or team, and the Reports do not guarantee the security of any particular project. This Report does not consider, and should not be interpreted as considering or having any bearing on, the potential economics of a token, token sale or any other product, service or other asset. Cryptographic tokens are emergent technologies and carry with them high levels of technical risk and uncertainty. No Report provides any warranty or representation to any Third-Party in any respect, including regarding the bugfree nature of code, the business model or proprietors of any such business model, and the legal compliance of any such business. No third party should rely on the Reports in any way, including for the purpose of making any decisions to buy or sell any token, product, service or other asset. Specifically, for the avoidance of doubt, this Report does not constitute investment advice, is not intended to be relied upon as investment advice, is not an endorsement of this project or team, and it is not a guarantee as to the absolute security of the project. CD owes no duty to any Third-Party by virtue of publishing these Reports.

PURPOSE OF REPORTS The Reports and the analysis described therein are created solely for Clients and published with their consent. The scope of our review is limited to a review of Solidity code and only the Solidity code we note as being within the scope of our review within this report. The Solidity language itself remains under development and is subject to unknown risks and flaws. The review does not extend to the compiler layer, or any other areas beyond Solidity that could present security risks. Cryptographic tokens are emergent technologies and carry with them high levels of technical risk and uncertainty.

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